And the next Dior head of creative is ...
Speculation has been flowing. With John Galliano’s departure, there is a very large chair to fill at Dior. Who will take his place as the next creative head of Dior? Well, Bernard Arnault and Sidney Toledano have yet to announce their pick, but guesses have been wildly slung about. Here are some names making the top of the likely list, according to WWD.
Within the realm of LVMH, possible choices include Marc Jacobs, Riccardo Tisci and Phoebe Philo.
Tisci is emerging to some as one good bet. WWD notes that he has buzz factor, managing to be both glam and hardworking. His affiliations with the in crowd and the art elite make him a notch above. Yet, while he is clearly talented, there may be concern over his limited range and usual dark aesthetic – which he departed from in Sunday show with new quirkiness.
Philo is a less certain choice. Could she handle couture at a fashion house that apparently retains a real business in the genre? Also questionable is whether her minimalist aesthetic jibes with Dior’s usual style.
Jacobs is also a debatably hot option. On one hand, he has the buzz, the talent – including in couture – and has proved able to make over a major luxury brand. But would he leave Vuitton? And would Dior want him to?
If the company decides to look outside of LVMH, Alber Elbaz and Haider Ackermann are emerging as worth betting on. Elbaz, according to WWD, has the whole package: the right mix of experience (including several houses on his list), and editorial and retail credibility. Moreover, he has reliably churned out gorgeously chic options for women, season after season. He is, however, under contract and appears uninterested in making the move.
The argument for Ackermann can be made in two words: beautiful clothing. As a more emerging designer, he is has an “undiscovered” element that could be exciting. He wowed the crowds with his collection this season, drawing gasps, a halfway standing ovation and shout-outs from the photographer’s pit.
The Rodarte girls’ names are also being bandied about. Kate and Laura Mulleavy have used their enormous talent to pull in a cool hip celebrity following. But their biggest attraction may be that their aesthetic—- as edgy and artistic, and occasionally dark—matches with Dior’s.
The contest will not be won by design talent alone. Those days of great design guaranteeing global brand success are over; nowadays it is just one tool in the shed. Galliano was able to land at Dior after just a one-season term at Givenchy, and once there, make some waves. But who knows about his successor.
The Dior fashion house is just a portion of the Dior luxury brand, and as WWD noted, Dior is Bernard Arnault’s prize jewel. So will the next designer appointed be given the freedom to chart a new creative course or will he or she be reined in by clear parameters? That answer will be key in determining who is chosen. We will keep you posted.